Undefeated KO artist Lauren Taylor (5-0) of Anchorage, Alaska will replace an injured Amanda Nunes in a bantamweight (135 pounds) matchup with hard-hitting Kaitlin Young (7-7-1) of St. Louis Park, Minn. at the highly-anticipated Invicta Fighting Championships women’s Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) world championship doubleheader event at Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City on Friday, April 5.
Nunes was forced to withdraw from the bout due to a sprained elbow sustained in training camp.
To date, the 29-year-old Taylor has been unstoppable in the cage, scoring TKOs on all five of her professional opponents, including a first round (4:10) stoppage of Jennifer Scott with an onslaught of elbow strikes in Taylor’s last start on March 1. Taylor has yet to be pushed past the second round of action.
Young, a 27-year-old, three-time veteran of Invicta FC competition, is a prolific striker who has earned six of her seven career victories by (T)KO. She is looking to rebound from a second round (2:19) TKO (punches) defeat at the hands of Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith at Invicta FC 3 on Oct. 6, 2012.
Tickets for Invicta FC 5, priced from $25, are on sale online at TicketFly.com.
In the main event of the stacked 14-bout card, reigning Invicta FC Atomweight (105 pounds) Champion Jessica Penne (10-1) of Huntington Beach, Calif. will defend her crown against superstar Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson (10-3) of Albuquerque, N.M. and, in the co-main event and first-ever Invicta FC flyweight (125 pounds) title fight, submission ace Vanessa Porto (15-5) of Sao Paulo, Brazil will square off with red-hot star Barb Honchak (7-2) of Bettendorf, Iowa.
In a featured, main card bout pound-for-pound great and devastating featherweight (145 pounds) KO artist Cris Cyborg (10-1, 1 NC) of Curitiba, Brazil will make her Invicta FC debut against streaking submission ace and Unified Women’s Professional MMA Rankings world No. 2 featherweight Ediane “India” Gomes (10-2) of Coconut Creek, Fla. via Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Flyweight superstar Zoila Frausto Gurgel (12-2) of Cincinnati, Ohio will also make her Invicta FC debut in another featured bout against submission expert Jennifer Maia (6-2) of Curitiba, Parana Brazil.
In other action on the eight-bout main card, bantamweight superstar Sarah Kaufman (15-2) of Victoria, BC Canada will make her long-awaited Invicta FC debut against dangerous striker and Invicta FC 3 and Invicta FC 4 winner Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith (5-2-1) of Pleasant Hill, Calif.
In a featherweight contest, hard-punching Julia “The Jewel” Budd (4-2) of Port Moody, BC Canada will meet rising star Fiona Muxlow (6-2) of Townsville, Queensland Australia
Crowd-pleasing “Rowdy” Bec Hyatt (4-2) of Brisbane, Australia will drop from flyweight to strawweight (115 pounds) and look to return to the win column against undefeated sensation and Invicta FC new comer Jasminka Cive (5-0) of Graz, Austria.
The Invicta FC six-fight preliminary card will be highlighted by a bantamweight tilt between two undefeated prospects in powerhouse Jessamyn “The Gun” Duke (2-0) of Richmond, Ky. and Muay Thai stylist Miriam Nakamoto (1-0) of Dublin, Calif.
Katja Kankaanpaa (7-0-1) of Seinajoki, Finland will square off with fellow undefeated rising star Juliana Carnerio Lima (5-0) of Belo Horizonte, Brazil at strawweight in what will mark both fighters’ Invicta FC debuts.
Alex Chambers (4-1) of St. Ives New South Wales, Australia will meet unbeaten Jodie Esquibel of Albuquerque, N.M. at atomweight.
Fresh off of her professional debut victory in the Invicta FC cage, top-flight prospect Rose Namajunas (1-0) of St. Paul, Minn. will face off with fellow undefeated upstart Kathina Catron (2-0) of Tehlequa, Okla. at strawweight.
Following her explosive first round KO and professional debut victory over Katalina Malungahu at Invicta FC 4, recent Team Alpha Male enlistee Veronica Rothenhausler (1-0) of Sacramento, Calif. will return to the cage against Mollie Estes (1-1) of Kansas City.
Cassie Rodish (4-3) of Des Moines, Iowa will face Simona Soukupova (3-2) of London, England in an atomweight contest.